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The Telegram
  • Rocco Joseph Losito, Sr.

  • Mr. Rocco J. Losito, Sr., 86, passed away Tuesday, May 14, 2013, in St. Elizabeth Medical Center with his family by his side.

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  • Mr. Rocco J. Losito, Sr., 86, passed away Tuesday, May 14, 2013, in St. Elizabeth Medical Center with his family by his side.
    He was born in Herkimer on March 27, 1927, the son of the late Vito and Mary Teso Losito, and he attended Herkimer schools. Mr. Losito was a lifelong resident of Herkimer. In 1944, he enlisted in the United States Navy, where he was assigned to the USS Oriskany, stationed in the Pacific Theater during World War II, based at Manila, The Philippines. He was then assigned to the USS Saratoga (both aircraft carriers), where he achieved the rank of first class petty officer within the Quartermaster Corps. He was honorably discharged at the conclusion of the war in 1946 and went on to complete his senior year of high school in 1947, receiving his Regents diploma. He later attended Herkimer County Community College, enrolling in various courses in management. He was married to Josephine Volpicello on Oct. 9, 1948, in St. Anthony’s Church. He was heavily involved in sports, especially football, where he played semi-professional football after high school for five years, starring as the starting quarterback in which the Herkimer Generals won the league championship in all of his five seasons.
    Mr. Losito worked as a shop superintendent for over 46 years at the Library Bureau of Sperry Univac. When Sperry Univac announced the closure of said manufacturing facility, Mr. Losito helped lead the effort to have the community purchase the facility through the issuance of stock, saving over 300 jobs for the community. This effort was featured on CBS's 60 Minutes.
    Mr. Losito was very civic minded. He was a volunteer fireman for over 35 years, a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the American Legion and the Knights of Columbus. He served numerous terms as president of the Herkimer County Chapter of Young Republicans, the Tony R. George Italian - American Post and the St. Anthony's Crusaders. Mr. Losito served as trustee of St. Anthony's Church, Herkimer, and was president of the building fund culminating in the construction of the current facility on South Main Street in Herkimer. For over 60 years, Mr. Losito served as an usher. He refereed basketball at the high school and junior college level for 43 years, donating his time to also referee CYO, ninth grade and junior basketball.
    Being highly active in politics, he first ran for political office in 1966, seeking the office of town councilman. He then won the election for village trustee in 1968. He served as mayor for the village of Herkimer for three consecutive terms in the 1980s. He was instrumental first in bringing McDonald's and Kentucky Fried Chicken to Herkimer as a trustee. He was also directly credited to bringing Wal-Mart to Herkimer, which became one of, if not the highest, grossing Wal-Mart stores east of the Mississippi. He was especially proud of furthering and maintaining manufacturing in the area throughout his tenure in politics, culminating in giving audience to President Bill Clinton during his tenure as mayor. In spite of all his activities, he always managed to fit in a round of golf.
    Page 2 of 2 - Mr. Losito will be sadly missed by his wife of 64 years, Josephine Rose Losito, and his three children, Rocco J. Losito, Jr., and his wife, Karen, of  Salem, Ohio, David G. Losito and his wife, Marybeth, of  Cicero, and LuAnn K. Losito and her companion, Ed Bucciero, of North Utica; one brother and sister-in-law, Vito  and Mary Losito, Jr., of Herkimer; his sister-in-law, Rose Volpicello Maiola, of Herkimer; and brother-in-law, Richard Carbone, of Herkimer. He is also survived by nine grandchildren, Rocco J., III, David, Michael, Joseph, Mary, Rachel, Heather, Meghan and Jaime, and several nieces, nephews and cousins. He was predeceased by four sisters, Ruth Cucchiara, Kate Cushman, Mary Muto and Lucy Carbone; one brother, Nick Losito; and his daughter-in-law, Theresa Losito.
    His funeral will be held Saturday morning at 10:30 a.m. from the Petykiewicz, Iocovozzi & Burns Funeral Home, 329 S. Washington St., Herkimer, and at 11 a.m. in Sts. Anthony and Joseph Church, where a Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated by the Rev. Thomas Lawless. Interment will be in Calvary Cemetery. Calling hours will be Friday, May 17, from 4 to 7 at Petykiewicz, Iocovozzi & Burns Funeral Home.
    Contributions in Rocco's memory may be made to Sts. Anthony and Joseph Church, 344 S. Main St., Herkimer. Envelopes will be available at the funeral home. Members of the VFW will meet Friday evening at 6:30 p.m. at the funeral home for services.
    Rocco's family would like to extend their sincere appreciation to the doctors, nurses and staff of St. Elizabeth Medical Center for the wonderful care shown to him during his stay and passing.
    Expressions of sympathy may be placed on Rocco's online memorial page by going to www.iocovozzifuneralhomes.com.
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